Archive for April, 2015

A special meditation for the animals of Nepal

I want to take a few moments today to offer my thoughts and blessings to the people and animals affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal. Being so far away from the disaster, it’s easy to feel helpless during tragic times like these. But there are things we can do, however small.

Making a donation to a charity is one way to help. This article in The Dodo lists a number of animal organizations as those working hard to bring food, veterinary care and shelter to the animals hurt by this disaster, including: Humane Society International, Animal Nepal, World Animal Protection and International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Another way that I’ve chosen to help is to offer this special meditation of peace and healing for the animals (and their people) affected by this disaster. Meditation is always something I can grab onto, no matter how down I feel. I hope it helps you, too.

Healing Meditation for the Animals of Nepal (and Their People)

Find a comfortable place to sit, with your beloved animal at your side if you wish.  Place your hands, palms together, in front of your heart, and dedicate this practice to all the animals of Nepal and their people. Then rest your hands on your lap or on your animal. If your animal is close to you, he/she may want to support you in this meditation.

Close your eyes as you breathe. As you inhale, imagine the breath as a beautiful healing light flowing up from the earth and through your body to your heart. On the exhale, imagine your heart as a bright light that expands to fill your whole being and then out into the universe. Inhale strength from the earth into your heart; exhale the bright light of your heart into the universe.

Continue this breath at your own pace for 10 repetitions. Then allow your breath to return to normal and breathe gently.

Turn your mind toward the animals of Nepal and their people. Feel the light at your heart shining so brightly. Repeat in your mind, “May you be free of suffering. May your heart feel peaceful. May you be healed. Know that you are loved.” Continue to repeat these words in your mind for several minutes as you feel them radiating out.

Imagine the light of your heart shines so brightly that it can reach all animals and people in need. Your light is so bright that any darkness or suffering disappears. If you feel distracting thoughts, imagine they are clouds just floating by. Don’t chase them; let them come, and let them go.

When you are ready, set your intention to finish, take a nice, deep breath and slowly open your eyes.

Do you have any additional thoughts on how we can help the victims of the Nepal quake?

13 amazing quotes about animals from your favorite celebrities

I absolutely love it when celebrities speak out about animal rights and causes; their fame allows them to bring crucial attention to important issues. It would be amazing to meet each of the following famous actors (and one supermodel, one hip-hop mogul and one singer/songwriter) and thank them personally for supporting the animals of this planet. To brighten your day (and warm your heart), here are some inspiring quotes about animals from our favorite celebrities:

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” —Johnny Depp

“You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal.” —Betty White

Expand your state of mind to help your animal

“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.”  ~Sri Chinmoy

In my business, I help guide animal lovers all over the world to peace and wellness. Through the meditative techniques of animal Reiki, my students learn how to connect with their animal in profound ways. But sometimes our own humanness can get in the way of helping our animal. Let me explain.

When we are offering Reiki to our animals, sometimes we can sense certain things in our hands or emotional feelings/intuitive information. It’s very easy to find ourselves in a place of judgement and interpretation. However, the best way to help our animals is to let go of these impressions and open our minds to healing possibility.

My teacher Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki teaches that in Japanese these impressions are called Hibiki—which means an echo. Thus, when we sense something from our animal, it is not a true experience, but rather our impression of the animal’s true experience. This is a natural occurrence when we share Reiki, because Reiki cultivates heart-to-heart connections. In this connected space, we often sense many things, but we must remember our impressions are always filtered through our own perceptions.

When we experience these impressions while we are offering Reiki, we have two choices:

1. We can focus on the impressions themselves and interpret them. Or,

2. We can thank the animal for sharing with us (thus focusing on gratitude) and then let the impressions go.

The first choice will involve us focusing on things like “this or that is wrong” or “this is what needs to be fixed” and “this or that needs to be healed.” Inadvertently, we end up focusing on the negatives of the situation. By doing so, our mental state becomes very narrowed and small. Animals feel this. I sometimes call this our “pointy” state of mind because we are unwittingly poking the animals with our negative thoughts. We can see this in their uncomfortable behavior with us, or they may say no to connecting with us.

Focusing on what’s wrong can also give rise to pity. Pity can sneak into our minds when we are working with, for example, shelter animals who have come from a bad situation. They can feel this pity inside of us and it can also cause them to not want to connect with us.

The second choice creates a spacious mental attitude of gratitude. We can acknowledge and thank the animals for sharing with us, and then let the impressions go like clouds floating by in the sky. We want animals to feel our positivity, our openness, our light and our gentle way of being. Choosing this open and expansive state of mind will help attract animals (rather than repel them).

Letting go of judgments is also a way to see your animal as the empowered perfect being that he or she is, even in that difficult moment. In this way we are focusing on the positive. Think back on a difficult time in your life and remember how wonderful it felt for someone to hold positivity for you!

When we offer Reiki to animals, it’s most important to stay in a place of openness and love in your heart and mind. Remember that all things are possible. The following quote is a great reminder when we feel discouraged:

“You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.” ~Shannon L. Alder

10 simple ways to help animals this Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! What are your plans for tomorrow? I would like to remember the animals this Earth Day, so that inspired me to put together this list of 10 simple things we can do tomorrow (and year-round!) to help our planet’s animals. Read on for my ideas, in addition to a special Earth Day Meditation:

1. Volunteer at your favorite animal shelter. Spending an afternoon with animals in need is a wonderful way to give back and boost your spirits at the same time.

2. Take your horse on a trail ride through the forest. Your horse will love the extra attention, and meanwhile you can take this quiet time to enjoy the beauty of the trees and nature around you.

5 powerful books about animals you need to read

Just when I think I’ve run out of inspiring reading material, a whole new slew of authors comes out with important works of nonfiction I can’t wait to read. Here are a few new releases for animal lovers worth that coveted spot on your nightstand:

1. Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld and the Truth Beyond Blackfish by John Hargrove
In this New York Times bestseller, former orca trainer and one of the stars of Blackfish John Hargrove reveals his journey from fulfilling a childhood dream of working at SeaWorld to realizing his life’s work was morally and ethically irresponsible. The book details the lives of cetaceans held captive at SeaWorld and lays out his reasoning for why it’s time we stop treating orcas like circus animals.